Regulatory actions loom for US pipelines in 2001

Third-party damage-the most common cause of pipeline failure-is suspected as at least one major contributing factor in the failure of a 16-in. gasoline pipeline in Bellingham, Wash., in June 1999. Click here to enlarge imageFor US oil and gas pipeline companies, events of 1999 and 2000 make for sober prospects for 2001. The US Congress late last year failed to reauthorize major pipeline safety legislation. Exactly what actions the next Congress will take and under what pressures from a new administration, a new Congress, and an alarmed public are open questions.Over the US pipeline industry hang the specters of two major, fatality-involving pipeline accidents in the past 18 months. Thes...

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